Spring Trip 2012 - Part 2
Continuing up Maggie Cr. Rd. from Carlin to Tuscarora we came across the fresh severed fore leg of an antelope in the middle of the road. No sign of the rest of the carcass. Odd.
We also happened upon a lone cowboy herding a couple dozen cattle thru the sage. Nothing in the scene would have been out of place 130 yrs ago.
We reached Tuscarora about 10am and walked around town snapping a few pictures before visiting the Tuscarora Pottery School run by Dennis and Julie Parks and their son Ben.
Some works by Ben Parks. I just love this stuff...
Mystic in a Mist
Blood of the Lamb
The Mu Shoe
The pottery kilns
Leaving the art world behind, we drove up Hwy 226 as far as Jack Creek and turned east on FR473.
Intended destination was Jarbidge NV, home of the Sagebrush rebellion.
Here's evidence of some busy beaver work...
Near Jack Creek Summit
Two antelope and the back end of a cow.
We reached the Charleston-Jarbidge road at Bruneau Meadows in the headwaters of the Bruneau River and turned north again.
Stopped to shoo this gopher snake off the road so he wouldn't get flattened. I think he had just finished his lunch.
He was happy in the sun and not inclined to move.
A yellow headed black bird
From a distance this lake of flowers really looked like open water.
We made it up as far as Bear Cr Summit at about 8500' elevation, about 7 miles from Jarbidge when we came to a snow drift that filled the whole road prism. It was about 8' deep on the uphill side - nothing short of a rotary show plow could get thru it. We had already punched thru a bunch of 1 and 2 foot drifts in the last mile.
We had to back up about 1/2 mile before we could turn around and we retreated back a couple of miles to Coon Creek Summit to spend the night.
Can you spot the van?
Here it is.
In the morning we backtracked about 40 miles to get to the road to Mountain City and Owyhee. Except for the Motel/Cafe, Mountain City is boarded up and for sale. No groceries or fuel. On to Owyhee. We fueled up and asked about other routes into Jarbidge. 3 different people gave us the classic 'You can't get there from here.' answer so we scratched Jarbidge off the list for this trip.
Next destination was Oregon and the Steens Mt area. In order to cross the Owyhee River, we had to go up as far as Mountain Home, ID and then back SW thru Jordan Valley and Rome, OR. We spent a night at a fishing campground on the Snake river at the mouth of the Bruneau River. In the morning while we weren't watching, the dogs got into a bag with some pills and we couldn't figure out what if anything they had eaten. So... we spent the rest of the morning at a Vets office in Nampa getting them checked out.
After a long day, we made it to our first Oregon destination - Willow Creek Hot Springs.
Willow Creek Hot Springs with sunbeams and virga
Sherri at the spring.
The morning soak.
A mid morning hike w/dogs
The springs campground was so nice that we spent another day there. By then the weather forecast was calling for 2 days of rain showers and snow at high elevation so we scratched Steens Mt off the list for this trip and turned toward home via Hart Mt antelope refuge.
And more antelope...
By the time the trip was over, we'd seen so many antelope that we quit pointing them out to each other along side the road.
Near Plush, OR we ran into this horse roadblock. They were searching vehicles for oats.
For an end-of-trip treat, we went down to Cedarville, CA and stayed at the Surprise Valley Hot Spring resort. It's a good thing we did because although we didn't know it at the time, the penthouse was already broken (See my 'what went wrong' posting). Camping out would have been a drag without the top up. Here's one last picture of a couple of bald eagles near Cedarville. A 3-4 year old on the Lt and an adult on Rt.
FWIW - here's a partial list of birds and assorted wildlife that Sherri recorded in her notes. Some duplications.
Maggie Creek Road to Tuscarora:
Genuine cowboy! And cattle.
Coyotes (2) circling 5 pronghorn in a sage/meadow swale.
Western Screech Owl
Freshly gnawed pronghorn leg
Sandhill Crane Juvenile
Gopher Snake – full stomach
American Kestral eating mouse on wire
Tuscarora to Charleston:
Jack Creek Camp, lunch stop, riparian by creek:
Bulluck’s Oriole, 2 males
Lewis’s Woodpecker, male
Yellow Warblers, many males
Orange-crowned Warbler, very brown
Green-tailed Towhee Male, singing
Jack Creek Summit:
Golden Eagle chased by adult, male Northern Harrier
Bull Elk, new growing antlers. Very Reddish, even rump. Magnificent animal. Ran ahead of van
through sage, then crossed the road in front of us an went out of sight.
Charleston-Bruneau River Headwaters:
Coon Creek Summit camp (8400 ft):
Mt. Bluebird pair
Cassin’s Finch, male and female
Audubon’s Warbler, male
American Robins, lots of them
Coon Summit to Charleston:
Sandhill Cranes, 2 adults and 1 chick
Ravens (they’ve been on all of our routes)
-----stopped listing for a few days----
June 3 - Warner Wetlands:
White-faced Ibis, Many, adults and a few juveniles
June 4 - Surprise Valley:
Bald Eagles, Adult and 4 year old on dry lakebed.